As if a study was needed, San Diego State University Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies has learned that college
students drink more alcoholic beverages when they are priced lower. While not everyone will engage in alcohol abuse
on a regular basis just because it is cheap, this study provides an opportunity to explain one aspect of alcoholism
Alcoholism is marked by the tendency of one to continue with heavy alcohol consumption in the face of resulting problems. This is a loose clinical definition that can bring more questions than answers to the non-alcoholic. To understand, alcoholics in recovery
define the disease in different ways to help them, as well as others.
One that is clear goes as follows: Social drinkers stop drinking when they begin to feel “tipsy”, but an alcoholic is just getting started drinking with that feeling. It means that once alcoholics start drinking, the desire is to continue for as long as they can pay for it or remain conscious.
Alcoholics will fit as many drinks as they can into their budgets while social drinkers can simply enjoy one drink. Knowing that their dollars need to be stretched well, alcoholics will by beer and drink specials. It is a matter of forethought when planning a night, or day, of drinking.
The study can be considered supportive of this definition. College students typically have tight budgets to work with, so alcohol consumption can only be relative to the amount of money they have. An alcoholic with $5.00 would choose five $1.00 beers over the one $5.00 cocktail that the non-alcoholic would buy.
Planning ahead for a drinking binge is a sign of alcohol obsession, even if it is just a budget consideration. Social drinkers can take it or leave it. Alcoholics need to know that they will get past the “tipsy” point.
An article about this study has been posted by the Addiction Technology Transfer Center
. An excerpt is below, followed by a link to the full article. While the study may seem to show obvious results at first glance, the data is actually very interesting.
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“It may seem intuitive that cheaper alcohol can lead to higher intoxication levels and related consequences – such as fighting, drunk driving, sexual victimization, injury, even death – especially among the vulnerable college student population,” said Ryan J. O’Mara, a graduate research fellow at the University of Florida and corresponding author for the study. “Nonetheless, ‘drink specials’ and other alcohol discounts and promotions remain a common feature of college bars in campus communities in the United States. This study’s results challenge assertions sometimes made by the management of these establishments that drink discounts are innocuous marketing practices intended only to attract customers to better bargains than those provided elsewhere.”
“What makes this study unique,” added John D. Clapp, professor and director of the San Diego State University Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies, “is that it was one of the first to examine this relationship at the bar-patron level using methods that carefully examined price – that is, what people actually spent – and biologically measured intoxication.”
-- Source: http://www.attcnetwork.org/explore/priorityareas/science/tools/asmeDetails.asp?ID=630 –
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